Prep Football Notebook
When opposing coaches look at film, East Rowan’s small sophomore cornerback Wesley Porter appears to be a potential target to pick on, but he’s playing lot bigger than his stature.
Porter has made a key defensive or special teams play in every victory by East Rowan (5-5, 4-3) this season, and his blocked punt that led to a Mustangs’ TD was a pivotal moment in a 28-21 victory against Central Cabarrus on Monday.
• East Rowan sophomore Max Wall is blossoming into one of the county’s top players. A hard-nosed competitor with corner-turning speed, Wall is impacting games as a rusher, returner and pass-catcher.
Wall missed the Ledford loss with a concussion, and the Mustangs missed him. He returned and did major damage against Central Cabarrus by turning a swing pass into a long touchdown.
• Seth Wyrick soared past 1,000 receiving yards for the season against Central Cabarrus. Wyrick had 10 catches against the Vikings and now has 155 in his career. He’s three short of Lamont Savage’s county record of 158. Wyrick’s 68 catches this season are the most anyone’s had in Rowan County in a regular season.
• Samuel Wyrick continues his own assault on the county records books.
Wyrick had two TD passes against Central Cabarrus — to Wall and tight end Simon Soles — and has 29 this season. That’s two short of B.J. Sherrill’s county record for a season. Wyrick’s 65 career TD passes are one behind Sherrill. He is tied with Mario Sturdivant for second on the all-time county list.
Wyrick has seven 200-yard games this year. He’s thrown for 2,199 yards and is completing 66 percent of his passes.
Jareke Chambers ranks third in the county in rushing but continues to lead in yards per carry with 8.9 per attempt. Chambers had season highs of 22 carries and 175 yards in Friday’s 31-13 Central Carolinas Conference win against Thomasville. Chambers has 4,454 career rushing yards.
• North Rowan QB Alexis Archie has put together an efficient season and hasn’t thrown a pick in the Cavaliers’ four CCC games.
Archie has 15 passing TDs this season, a number that would be higher if his top targets Sakil Harrison and Shareef Walker hadn’t missed games with injuries. Both caught a TD pass Friday.
A three-year starter who missed four games in 2013 with an arm injury, Archie has completed 52 percent of his passes in his career for 4,036 yards and 44 touchdowns,
Archie added the 20th rushing TD of his career against Thomasville.
• North Rowan’s defense has gotten stouter with the shift of Kenyaun Coney from the backfield to linebacker.
“He’s one of our most physical players and one of our smartest,” defensive coordinator Steve Williams said.
• North Rowan has blocked four punts, with Jaleel Hitchens, Trae Clark, Omar Lipscomb and Zion Debose coming through with blocks.
• North Rowan (8-2, 4-0 CCC) has gotten eight sacks from Jake Pritchard, who missed one game with injury. Shane Parker has thrown in 6.5 sacks, and Debose has six sacks.
• Freshman Jacob Young booted his first field goal on Friday.
QB Andy Lear rushed for two TDs in a 44-36 South Piedmont Conference loss at second-place Hickory Ridge that was completed on Monday.
• Fullback Dylan Livengood produced his second big game this season against Hickory Ridge, plowing for 84 yards on 14 carries. Livengood had a career-high 103 against West Rowan.
• Carson (4-6, 3-4 SPC) produced its usual 369 rushing yards against Hickory Ridge, but it still couldn’t outscore the Ragin’ Bulls.
• Darren Isom leads Rowan County in rushing with 1,294 yards and in scoring with 25 TDs. Isom has topped 100 rushing yards in eight straight games.
• Brandon Sloop got banged up in the Hickory Ridge game and had a season-low 12 carries. Sloop is right behind Isom in the county rushing race with 1,288 yards.
Sloop has carried 182 times this season, while Isom has 179 carries. Both average 7 yards per carry.
While their carries and yards are amazingly close, coach Joe Pinyan said there’s no set formula.
“Most of the time the defense is going to dictate which one gets it,” Pinyan said. “Then it’s up to Andy Lear to get the ball to the right person in the right place.”
Sloop has 4,751 career rushing yards. He’s the second Cougar with three 1,000-yard seasons. Shaun Warren accomplished that feat from 2008-10.
• Carson is home against Cox Mill on Friday and is unlikely to make the 3A playoffs if it doesn’t win.
While the Falcons won’t be left out of the state playoffs, their projected seed is dropping.
The Falcons (6-4, 4-3 SPC) could use an upset of second-place Hickory Ridge on Senior Night. That would stop a three-game slide and would allow the Falcons to be seeded as a 7-3 team. They’ll be able to drop their non-conference loss to Mooresville for seeding purposes.
• The past three weeks have been the roughest stretch for the Falcons since 1998. They’ve been outscored 118-33 in SPC losses to East Rowan, Concord and Cox Mill.
• The root of West Rowan’s problems is a struggle to get its once forceful running game rolling. The Falcons have been held below 100 rushing yards in four of their last five games.
• Harrison Baucom was the county rushing leader early in the season but hasn’t enjoyed a 100-yard game since West Rowan beat South Rowan on Sept. 26. Baucom carried 24 times for 63 yards against Cox Mill and has 985 yards this season. West Rowan has had a 1,000-yard rusher every year since 1999.
• Kacey Otto reached 1,000 passing yards — on the nose — on Friday.
• Kortez Weeks is second in the county in receptions with 29 and caught a TD pass against Cox Mill.
They’ll be up against the county’s stingiest defense Friday when they take on North Rowan, but Willie Clark (813 rushing yards) and Antwond Glenn (778) have formed quite a junior tandem for the Hornets. Glenn had three rushing touchdowns in Friday’s rainy, but relatively easy, 37-14 CCC win at West Davidson.
Salisbury (5-5, 4-0 CCC) has 1,983 rushing yards through 10 games, after managing 1,627 all last season.
• Senior linebacker J.C. Burton continues to be the Hornets’ leading tackler with 46 solos, plus 72 assists.
• Sophomore lineman Siemon Caldwell forced a fumble that was recovered by junior Kyaun Rice on Friday.
• Nick Austin scored his first TD for the Hornets in Friday’s game.
A 20-7 loss to Central Davidson on Friday ensured that South Rowan will finish its season this week.
South Rowan (2-8, 1-6 SPC) will be a big underdog against an East Rowan team that is surging and can clinch third in the SPC with a victory.
The Raiders haven’t made the playoffs since 2009 and haven’t tasted playoff success since 2003 when they beat McDowell 42-20 in the first round.
• Aaron Kennerly threw the 17th TD pass of his career to Alex Helms for South Rowan’s TD on Friday.
• Brennan Lambert leads the county with three field goals and is 15-for-16 on PATs.
• Marshall Long has averaged 47 yards on his 10 punts the last three weeks.
Sandon McCoy, Jayln Cagle and Brylan Weaks have scored nine TDs each for the Wonders (5-5, 3-3 Mecka), who are putting up nearly 35 points per game.
The bruising McCoy slammed out 141 yards on 21 carries in a lightning-suspended 42-14 win against West Charlotte that put the Wonders in fourth place in the league.
Since a 20-14 opening-night loss to still-unbeaten Concord, the Wonders haven’t scored fewer than 20 points, but they were unable to stop Weddington, Vance, Hough or Mallard Creek.
• Junior QB Damon Johnson has keyed the Wonders’ rising offensive numbers. He’s passed for 1,110 yards and 15 TDs, and he’s rushed for 385 yards the last three weeks.
• The Wonders will make the 4A playoffs if they can beat Hopewell on Friday. They were stunned by Hopewell a year ago.
Davie County (6-4, 2-4 CPC) has provided excitement with 37.6 points per game and remarkable seasons by senior QB Parker Correll (1,962 passing yards, 774 rushing yards) and junior Ben Ellis, who has broken the school’s single-season record with 1,122 receiving yards.
Ellis has 11 TD catches.
• Like A.L. Brown, Davie is headed for the 4A playoff bracket and will dodge those 4AA monsters.
Davie can impact its seed Friday when it takes on Mount Tabor to determine fourth place in the CPC.
While the CPC gets little respect in the state poll, three of its members — Reagan, North Davidson and West Forsyth — are 9-1 overall.
Mike London: 704-797-4259; twitter.com/